Situations where you find yourself able to wear denim-on-denim are rare.
This void can be filled for 10 days of every July in Calgary, Alberta. The Calgary Stampede, also known as the greatest outdoor show on earth, is a whirlwind time filled with hay bales, rodeos, and midway rides. The question, as it often is, is what to wear.
Dressing like you've stepped out of an old western movie can at first seem terrifying. But fear not! It takes no more than a simple shop around your own closet and a cheap pair of cowboy boots to go country.
It's a secret that many Calgarian women have learned and embraced over the past 100 years of the event. Our resident/transplanted Calgarian Meredith Gillies offers some quick tips for achieving an effortless look:
a) Summer dresses + cowboy boots = instant cowgirl: It will shock you to see how quickly that floral summer dress turns country bumpkin with a basic cowboy boot. This is the best trick any woman can learn, especially to keep cool and pretty when standing in the sun at the rodeo all day.
b) Accessories are your friend: Adding a bandanna, a pile of turquoise bangles a leather belt (or all three together) to a basic T-shirt with jeans also gives you a cowgirl look. Toss your boots back on, BOOM. Ready to go.
c) When the Canadian tuxedo is applicable, wear it.
d) Don't fear the cowboy hat: If you think you'll look ridiculous wearing a straw hat, just wait 'til you see the people wearing oversized foam hats that are 'funny'. They look ridiculous, you'll look stylish. And, it's a part of the tradition. If you don't wear a hat, you'll actually look a bit odd.
So if you're starting from scratch, invest in some cheap or vintage cowboy boots and make your way to Calgary any time between July 6 - 15.
Check out some of our picks for how to get the Calgary look without looking out of place. If you have a Stampede tip, let us know in the comments below or on Twitter.